The outcome of the national lockdown review and a plan for the gradual lifting of restrictions will be made public in the week beginning February 22, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced.
Speaking in Parliament today (January 27) the PM said that it was too soon to relax restrictions and there was not enough evidence to show the effect of the vaccine on blocking transmission, reducing hospitalisations, as well as seeing a lowering death rate, to make any decisions yet.
He added: “We remain in a perilous situation with more than 37,000 people in hospital with covid, almost double the number in the peak in April.
“The overall picture will be clearer by mid February and we will then know more about the effect of the vaccine and be in a better position to chart a course out of lockdown.”
Yesterday the country passed a grim landmark with the deaths of some 100,000 people who had tested positive for covid since the pandemic began.
The measures will be reviewed in mid February when the top four priority groups have received vaccinations.
The PM said that on February 22: “We will set out the results of the review and publish our plan for taking the country out of lockdown,” although he added this will be dependent on the vaccination programme going to plan and the rate of hospital cases and deaths being reduced.
It is planned for a gradual phasing to reduce restrictions but the first step, as a “national priority” will be reopening schools with an earliest target date of March 8.
Economic and social restriction easing will follow.
The PM also announced a £300m package aimed at helping youngsters catch up with the learning missed over the many months of lockdown.
These will include Summer school initiatives and tutoring.
The PM also spoke of strengthening border control, saying: “We already temporarily closed all travel corridors and we are already requiring anyone coming to this country to have proof of a negative Covid test taken in the 72 hours before leaving.
“They must also complete a Passenger Locator Form which must be checked before they board – and then quarantine on arrival for ten days.
“I want to make clear that under the stay at home regulations it is illegal to leave home to travel abroad for leisure purposes and we will enforce this at ports and airports by asking people why they are leaving and instructing them to return home if they do not have a valid reason to travel.
“We have also banned all travel from 22 countries where there is a risk of known variants including South Africa, Portugal and South American nations, and in order to reduce the risk posed by UK nationals and residents returning home from these countries,I can announce that we will require all such arrivals who cannot be refused entry to isolate in government-provided accommodation – such as hotels – for ten days without exception. They will be met at the airport and transported directly into quarantine.”
In the UK 6.8 million people, over 13 per cent of the entire adult population, has now received a vaccination jab.
In England first doses have been given to over four-fifths of those aged 80 or over, and over half of those aged between 75 and 79 and three quarters of elderly care home residents
The PM added that current evidence shows that both the vaccines remain effective against the new variant of the virus.
Alle-flippin-lujah…….the beginning of the end….rejoice
Only if the idiots follow the rulesaa
Once loads us us have had the jab, the rules won’t be so important.
I’ll explain for you (I believe the PM is busy): The vaccines DO protect the persons that are vaccinated. What is unknown is whether or not those vaccinated people can still transmit the virus on to others, despite feeling fine themselves.
And there is confidence that the existing vaccines work against all the variants circulating in the UK at the moment.
Is anybody really still believing anything this bozo says after the last 10 months of ignoring the science & total incompetence shown by him & his party?
No – they are not – they are going out and having parties, social get-togethers, baby showers, wedding receptions, meeting up for a coffee, etc. because they think they are exempt.
The “special people” who have underlying health issues are going out and about without wearing their masks because they think they are exempt.
That, Steve, is the cause of the current and on-going problems.
In large part yes, however waiting nearly a year to have any real control over the people coming & going from airports, telling people to get out there & eat, not doing lockdowns when his scientific advisors tell him he needs to, keeping the schools open, telling people to have four days of partying over Xmas so he can win some popularity points etc have set the tone, as has the abysmal one rule for us & one rule for you plebs shown by politicians & celebrities without any punishment or any punishment of note.
people with underlying health conditions not wearing a mask when out are not always to blame for the spread of this nasty disease.anyone that does not wear a mask or stays indoors when asked to do so are also to blame, the last twelve months of my life have been spent indoors because of the actions of many different groups of people ,not just those with previous health conditions so please do not lay the blame at the feet of one group of people surely the blame must extend to every one that breaks the rules?
His performance at the Downing St briefings is risible.
To late to little as usual.